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Sports

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Renowned sports writer and commentator Frank Deford, 78, died on Sunday, just a few weeks after his last piece aired on Morning Edition. He had recorded 1,656 commentaries for NPR over nearly 40 years.

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Now let's remember Frank Deford, who died at 78. His sportswriting career included decades of commentaries on this program. Frank Deford could rage against the practice of allowing soccer games to end in a tie.

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On a November night in 1986, a crowd gathered in Las Vegas for an event that was hyped as "Judgement Day." Muhammad Ali was there, along with celebrities Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy and Rob Lowe. (Hey, it was the '80s.) At the center of it all was a boxing ring with a referee and two fighters: Mike Tyson and Trevor Berbick.

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Updated 1:10 a.m. ET Tuesday:

Tiger Woods released a statement Monday night blaming medications for his arrest on a DUI charge in Florida.

"I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions.

"I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET

Through nearly four decades, at least five presidential administrations and seemingly countless Super Bowls and World Series, NPR listeners could depend on at least one thing in the ever-unpredictable world of athletics: Frank Deford. A mainstay on Morning Edition, the Hall of Fame sportswriter was public radio's scholar of sports for some 37 years before hanging up his cleats earlier this year.

The Definitive Best-Looking NHL Player

May 29, 2017

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight. That's exciting for hockey fans. Less exciting - media day. So the Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban had a little fun. He played the role of reporter - for example, asking teammate Mike Fisher...

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No one in the history of the NBA has been a louder proponent of the underhanded free throw than Rick Barry. The unorthodox technique — sometimes known as the "granny" — earned the Hall of Famer the title of one of the best free throw shooters of all time.

Barry swears by its accuracy, but players hardly ever use it.

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For the athletes, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio were full of triumph and defeat, victory laps and tears, all the usual themes. But the legacy of those games for the host city...

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Jim Bunning, an imposing Hall of Fame pitcher and a cantankerous, resolutely conservative U.S. Senator from Kentucky, died Friday at age 85.

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And now it is time for sports.

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In a rush to get the holiday weekend rolling? Here are some quick facts about last night's Eastern Conference championship game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics:

  • The Cavaliers ended the Celtics post-season — winning the game, 135-102.
  • The win sets up a third consecutive match-up with Western Conference champion Golden State in the Finals.
  • LeBron James scored 35 points to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader — surpassing Michael Jordan.

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So LeBron James is not called the King of the Court for nothing. The star of the Cleveland Cavaliers is at the peak of his career. And just last night, he led his team to the NBA finals for the seventh straight year.

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The NBA has announced that Charlotte, N.C., will host the 2019 All-Star Game, after the state partially repealed its controversial law that limited civil rights protections for LGBT people.

The professional basketball league moved last year's All-Star game from Charlotte, where it was originally scheduled, to protest the state's HB2 law.

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George Foreman at 25 years old was a fearsome champion: 6 foot 4, biceps thick and gnarled as oak, a permanent scowl on his face and a right hand that flattened every opponent he faced.

So when Muhammad Ali challenged him in 1974 for a championship fight dubbed the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), most bets were on Foreman.

Ali was seven years older and past his prime. He'd had his title stripped after refusing the Vietnam draft in 1967 and was struggling to become a contender again.

The 'No Fun League' Relaxes End Zone Celebration Rules

May 24, 2017

The National Football League announced three changes to the game on Tuesday, but the one getting most of the attention has to do with end zone celebrations.

For years, the league has limited how players could celebrate following touchdowns, and for how long.

People often ask me: What's the best lesson you learned after almost two decades on the U.S. women's soccer team?

I'm fairly certain they want the secret formula to winning. Instead, I tell them, the best lesson I learned is actually a secret about life.

And that lesson came to me while watching my incredible teammates do their thing, on and off the field. Sure, I loved that they were amazing athletes, and we were winning World Cups and Olympics together. But I was most impressed that they were even more amazing human beings who led in a variety of ways.

Nicky Hayden, a champion motorcycle racer, died at an Italian hospital Monday, five days after being struck by a car while bicycling as part of his training on the Rimini coast.

The 35-year-old had suffered trauma to his head, chest and abdomen after colliding with the car's windshield, leaving him in critical condition at Maurizio Bufalino Hospital in Cesena.

The hospital confirmed Monday that he died "following a very serious polytrauma."

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a basketball legend...

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UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER #1: Three NCAA championships at UCLA. Six NBA titles with Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

Here's Kareem, the sky hook.

Cloud Computing pulled a surprise win in the final strides of the 142nd run of the Preakness Stakes, shutting out any chances for a Triple Crown winner this year.

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And it's time for sports.

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SIMON: Could three be a charm for one of two teams, not to mention fans? Howard Bryant of espn.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us now. Good morning, Howard.

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If our next guest's career had a soundtrack, it might go pretty much like this.

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UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Ortiz to right field, back goes Souza, looking up and it's gone.

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